New Delhi [India], March 24 (ANI/SRV): The term "cancer," a malignant illness viewed with panic, and anxiety, might make you feel shivery. The cancer diagnosis and treatment facilities, which are steadily experiencing a sea of changes, are rising along with the number of persons affected by this disease. The general public is well-informed about the disease, but little is known about the best ways to manage it, treat it, and, most importantly, prevent it. In addition, the situation is even more ambiguous and perplexing when it comes to colon and rectal cancer. To effectively combat this disease, it is imperative to spread awareness about colorectal cancer prevention, associated risk factors, and early disease detection.
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in India, after breast and lung cancers. Colorectal cancer is increasing in India due to changes in lifestyle and diet. According to the National Cancer Registry Programme, colorectal cancer in India was 4.4 per 100,000 population in 1990, which increased to 7.9 per 100,000 population in 2022 and the mortality rate due to colorectal was 3.9 per 100,000 population in 1990, which increased to 5.2 per 100,000
As March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, it is the perfect opportunity to discuss colorectal cancer risk factors, screening choices, and recommendations as well as steps you may take in collaboration with your primary care physician to reduce your risk.
Colorectal cancer, like many other types of cancer, is caused by mutations in the DNA of cells in the colon or rectum. These mutations can lead to uncontrolled growth and division of cells, which can eventually form a tumor. While the exact cause of these mutations is not always clear, several risk factors have been identified that increase the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer. While common signs and symptoms include blood in the stool, a change in bowel movements, weight loss, pain in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and constant fatigue, long-standing hemorrhoids and Anemia due to Iron deficiency shouldn't be ignored
Several factors can increase the risk of developing this cancer, including age, certain genetic mutations like Lynch syndrome and FAP, family history, prior polyps or colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, smoking, red and processed meat and alcohol consumption, and being overweight or obese. These risk factors can interact with each other, and individuals who have multiple risk factors may be at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer but this does not necessarily mean that person will develop colorectal cancer. It is important to be aware of these risk factors and to undergo recommended screening tests to detect and prevent colorectal cancer because it can detect cancer at an early stage when treatment is most effective.
Tests for screening and early detection are fecal occult blood test (FOBT), flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy and CT colonography, and Fecal immunochemical test (FIT). It's important to note that the frequency of colorectal cancer screening depends on a person's age, overall health, and risk factors. It is best to discuss screening recommendations with a healthcare provider.
The good news is that colorectal cancer can be treated using a combination of several techniques, depending on the stage, location, and other factors of cancer. The main techniques used for treating colorectal cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, and clinical trials, and when it is detected early, 90% of patients survive for five years. According to your unique risk factors, it is crucial to discuss when and how you should be screened with your primary care physician.
Colorectal cancer can be treated with several different methods, and one of the newer and more innovative approaches is minimally invasive surgery (MIS). MIS has revolutionized the treatment of colorectal cancer in several ways. Patients who undergo MIS for colorectal cancer often experience good long-term results, with a reduced risk of cancer recurrence and a higher quality of life after treatment. The benefits of MIS for colorectal cancer include an excellent prognosis, good long-term results, excellent cosmetic results, and very early recovery and short hospital stay. However, it's important to note that not all patients are candidates for MIS and that traditional surgery may still be necessary in some cases. It's crucial for patients to work closely with their healthcare team to determine the best treatment plan for their individual situation.
I want to remind the community that, if you are scheduled for a colorectal cancer screening, it's crucial not to put it off. Make a resolution to look after yourself in 2023, and be sure to talk to your doctor about getting checked for colorectal cancer at the top of your list of things to do
Stay healthy and stay safe....
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The author of this article is Dr Asit Arora (Senior Surgical Gastroenterologist and Gastrointestinal & HPB Oncosurgeon). Presently he is working as Director & Head, of Division of GI & HPB Oncology at Max Super Speciality Hospital Saket, Delhi. This initiative is undertaken in the public interest. The Information is only suggestive for patient education and shall not be considered as a substitute for a doctor's advice or recommendations. Please consult your doctor for more information.
This story has been provided by SRV. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/SRV)